Monday, May 27, 2024

“Jeopardy!” Ignored Alex Trebek’s Choices for a Successor, Didn’t Even Give Them Auditions


The producers of “Jeopardy!” and Sony TV obviously didn’t care what Alex Trebek thought about who should succeed him as host of the game show.

In 2018, Trebek told TMZ’s Harvey Levin on the air that he’d suggested two people to the show. These ideas obviously fell on deaf ears.

One was Los Angeles King announcer Alex Faust, who would have been competition for EP Mike Richards. Faust is a young, good looking white guy. Whoops! That’s what Richards thought he was himself!

The other was CNN legal analyst Laura Coates, a Black woman who is smart, intelligent, and articulate.

Everyone forgot about this interview, it was all forgotten, and Sony TV didn’t even ask these people to do a week’s worth of shows. Instead we got people like Dr. Oz, and both Good Morning America hosts, neither of whom could have done the show anyway.

Now we’re in this weird situation with Richards out. Ken Jennings is who I was told producers expected to choose last winter before Richards took over the process and rigged the competition in his favor. Some insiders also speculate the Mayim Bialik was on track for the job but her current Fox sitcom precluded her doing it full time.

Interesting that Trebek’s wishes were ignored, and a whole new marketing shpiel was introduced. What a shitshow.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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